I am making French onion soup, and it calls for sherry. What would be a good substitute for the sherry?

  • 1
    Are you trying to avoid wine or just sherry? Also is the recipe using beef or chicken stock?
    – CMB92
    Commented Mar 18, 2017 at 19:13
  • 1
    Sherry can often be used as a substitute for wine in small quantities, but in larger quantities you may find it's too sweet (for all but the driest sherries)
    – Chris H
    Commented Mar 18, 2017 at 20:02
  • Just use vinegar.
    – Doug
    Commented Mar 18, 2017 at 22:02

3 Answers 3


Yes, you can. (I usually use wine, in fact). Note that sherries are a fortified wine, so you may want to add a small amount of brandy as well; say 1 Tbl to 1/4 cup per cup of wine.

If you are using a chicken stock, restrict yourself to a white wine; perhaps a rose if you have a particularly dark chicken stock.

For a beef stock, red or white will work well. In addition, if the recipe calls for a sweet sherry, you can also use a port or a Madeira.

In all cases, add in parts and taste between until you're happy with the result.

  1. Avoid 'cooking' sherry as too salty, overpriced, and of dubious taste.

  2. I suggest brandy if no suitable sherry is available.

  3. Avoid overly sweet sherries (e.g. cream finish); I like/use an Amontillado.


I sometimes use cider and a splash of brandy or rum as a substitute for sherry

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